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How the Vernon Art Gallery is solving space problems with steel boxes

Big Steel Boxes will soon be home to a satellite art gallery.
March 03, 2015 - 7:25 PM

VERNON - A unique attraction is taking shape downtown Vernon.

Five massive container boxes arrived in the empty lot across from Cenotaph Park Monday morning. In two weeks time, the steel boxes will house a major international art show.

“It’s fairly unique,” Vernon Public Art Gallery executive director Dauna Kennedy Grant says. “I myself haven’t heard of any pop up art galleries before.”

The idea to hang the art in containers came about in November when curators found themselves either having to reduce the scope of the show — which had nearly 200 applicants — or find a secondary space to show it. The current facility, located at the parkade on 31 Avenue, is not big enough to house the Okanagan Print Triennial without scaling back the number of artsists.

“We were brainstorming and came up with the box idea. That’s what creative people do, they come up with creative solutions,” Kennedy grant says.

Working with no budget, the gallery was fortunate to have local government and businesses step up to make the vision a reality. The network of Big Steel Boxes, made up of four 40 foot containers, and one 20 foot, has come together entirely through donations.

The chosen location for the pop-up space at 3007-31 Avenue is pegged as the future site of a new public art gallery. Given the amount of people stopping by and inquiring about the boxes Kennedy Grant says it’s evident the lot is the the right location for the new gallery.

“A lot of people have asked us already if we’ll leave the boxes there for a while and do programming,” Kennedy Grant says. “People are so taken with the location and the excitement around it they would like to see it continue in that spot.”

The show opens with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. March 19 and will run until mid-May.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at or call 250-309-5230. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
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